Expensive, unreliable, ppoor support. What more could you want?
Eddie Lang, Amazon
18 September 2010
Summary: Let me start by saying I have owned and maintained three of these expensive devices beginning in 2004. Why three? Well, because two of them have died in service after the three-year "warranty" expired. Why then own them? Because they permit you to connect two different broadband connections for reliability of internet access. However, even the latest model V2 with firmware 3.06-29 (up to date as of this writing) has plenty of weird quirks.
Summary: I work from a home office and spend all day on the internet. My business depends on internet access so there are few times I can be without. Until CLEAR arrived, my choices had been DSL from TELCO and cable from COMCAST. I spent time first with cable, had lots of problems with the service (I'm at the end of the line), then decided to try DSL. It was more dependable but slower. So I looked for a router that could host both services simultaneously.
Summary: We purchased this to have a live backup connection to our T-1 (DSL line is the backup). It serves the purpose but you need a technical person to set it up. VPN is a problem. You cannot use standard windows VPN and the Netgear VPN client only works with certain versions of Windows, no 64 bit support, no Win 7 support and vista was problematic. Based a Web search Netgear has no idea when the VPN client will be updated.
Summary: I've owned several FVX538 over the years, deploying the first one in 2003. Back then they weren't the most reliable or easy to configure appliances on the market but they were considerably more cost effective than the other appliances that were available at the time. I ended up with two v1 units running 7x24x365 for five and six years respectfully. However, both v1 units have up and died, first one in February 09 and the second unit failed last week.
Summary: I am a Netgear fan. I have a lot of equipment in my home, and have always found Netgear to be a reliable brand that just works! I had a fvs318 that worked great for years, but could not keep up with my upgraded Internet connection. I got 29M out of the modem, but it petered out to 7M by the time it got to the desktop. A new fvs318 made no difference. This baby hums! 29M right to my desktop with easy setup.
Summary: I bought this product 2 years ago. I really wanted to like it. It had a lot of features I wanted, dual wan ports, VPN, etc. but this thing really sucks. I have 8 years experience as a network administrator, but this thing was never reliable. I had to power cycle this router at least twice a week due to lockups. After updating firmware 4 times I finally gave up. Netgear tech support from India is worse than useless.
Drops traffic on both WAN interfaces when reconfiguring.
Joel Franusic, Amazon
30 April 2008
Summary: I had high hopes for the FVX538, a relatively cheap router with failover support! After several months of trying to make it work (upgrading firmware, reading the manual, etc) I ended up going with pfSense on a rackmount server. My main issue with the FVX538 is that it would drop all traffic going over both WAN interfaces for about a minute, even when making seemingly trivial changes like updating DNS.
Summary: It lacks some features, like a command-line dump of its configuration (it uses a proprietary binary format) and some routing features; but it works, and is cheap. We had problems with the stability of vpn channels when connecting to Juniper NetScreen equipment (the channels would go down at least weekly and have to be manually reset), so I'd stick to netgear-to-netgear vpns with this box.
Summary: I'm very pleased with this product and I highly recommend it: - The setup has been a breeze including setting up VPN connections from dynamic clients as well as from another router (a Cisco/Linksys RVS 4400N). - The performances are phenomenal (e.g. VPN set up time...) One recommendation: make sure you upgrade your firmware in the first place (so that you don't lose your previous configuration parameters)... One comment to the NetGear team: terrific job!